Tales of Women: Agathe, ALTEN Project Manager for ThermoDyn

10/26/2021

Testimony of Agathe, ALTEN Project Manager for ThermoDyn

“I have a curious nature and am always interested in many different technical topics. I enjoy this diversity in my everyday work life”. Agathe is always very active and since the start of her career has worked in very different environments, both technically and geographically.

“My curiosity has led to me moving around a lot! I graduated from Nevers with a degree in Engineering, specialising in mechanics/purchasing. I then did an apprenticeship in automation with an automotive manufacturer between Paris and Valenciennes before joining ALTEN as a purchaser for a producer of special machines for plastic parts for the automotive industry in Rennes… And I am currently working with a client who specialises in turbines and compressors in Le Creusot in Burgundy!”.

Project Management: “Team Spirit”

As an ALTEN Project Manager for ThermoDyn, Agathe provides after-sales service for turbines (provision of spare parts, repairs and upgrades) for two clients, one specialising in nuclear energy and the other in military. “It is a very technical position and you constantly need to learn new things. Especially in sectors that require high security, reliability and quality,” Agathe emphasises. “Providing after-sales service for these turbines does not mean having to know how they work in all the technical details. It means ensuring that associated projects run smoothly, from establishing the client’s requirements until the part is delivered or the repair carried out”.

Agathe relies on a whole network of experts and support functions, without which she would be unable to do her job. “The way I see it, management responsibilities does not mean ‘being the boss of’ but rather ‘working with’. Working with resources is above all about working with human resources and getting the best out of the team, to get it to progress and to progress yourself,” she explains.

A team spirit that Agathe values so much that she has chosen to be the ALTEN Site Representative. Agathe is responsible for team cohesion and sharing important information with Consultant Engineers working at that client site. She is a special point of contact thanks to her position as an intermediary between the Sales Manager, Engineering Manager and the client.

Finalist of the Women in Industry “Promising Start” Award

“I have been curious about the technical side of things from a very young age when I used to take computers apart with my dad and I really enjoyed that! I have faced stereotypes and preconceptions about such an interest, especially at school. But that didn’t stop me believing in myself and my plan to become an Engineer!”.

Keep daring, working hard, taking an interest… This has been the secret for Agathe to achieve her goals: a baccalaureate in Industrial Technology and Science, a preparation course for engineering school and then joining the Institut Supérieur de l’Automobile et des Transports (a French public engineering school specialising in smart cars, Aerospace and Transport). “Barriers based on gender in these technical professions mostly come at the entry point. Once I had joined my engineering school I could see that diversity was welcomed. This is proof that you should always persevere when you have an idea in your head!”.

Agathe believes that perseverance is essential for an Engineer, as she illustrates with another example from when she began her project at ThermoDyn: “I didn’t know all the technical details about the turbines I was working on but this didn’t put me off. Engineers should never put limitations on themselves, especially when facing the unknown, which can always be interesting for them. My general skills, supplemented by the specific skills of the experts I work with and learn from, have been suffi cient for me to find my place within the teams”.

This perseverance that Agathe has always shown, as a woman and as a professional in the industry, was rewarded as she was nominated in the final of the Women in Industry Awards organised by L’Usine Nouvelle (French weekly magazine about the economy and technologies in the industrial sector) in 2020, in the category “Promising Start”. “I feel very proud and would like to thank all those who believed in my conviction to become an Engineer one day and to flourish in this profession”.

 



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